Unspeakable: The Autobiography by John Bercow - review by James Blitz

James Blitz

Out of Order?

Unspeakable: The Autobiography


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 464pp £20 order from our bookshop

John Bercow enjoyed a degree of fame as Speaker of the House of Commons that was unmatched by any of his predecessors. The extent of his celebrity became all too apparent when, after stepping down from the post last October, he appeared on a popular Italian television show, delighting the audience with comments on British politics. Before Bercow left the stage, the compere asked whether he could oblige viewers by shouting ‘Order! Order!’ in Italian. He duly obliged, bellowing ‘Ordine! Ordine!’ to wild applause. The moment was testimony to just how much audiences at home and abroad had been gripped by the Brexit drama in the Commons last year – and by the role that Bercow himself played in it.

Bercow has always been a showman, and it is no surprise that he is capitalising on his decade-long tenure as Speaker with a swiftly produced memoir. After all, life after the Speakership does not look set to be straightforward. Most Conservatives dislike the former Tory MP, accusing him

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